The miR-30 family microRNAs confer epithelial phenotype to human pancreatic cells

Islets. Sep-Oct 2009;1(2):137-47. doi: 10.4161/isl.1.2.9578.


Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition is a phenomenon necessary for embryonic development and also seen during certain pathological conditions. We show here for the first time that reduction in miR-30 family microRNAs, is responsible for mesenchymal transition of primary cultures of human pancreatic epithelial cells. We found that miR-30 family microRNAs target mesenchymal gene transcripts and maintain them in a translationally inactive state. Forced depletion using miR-30 family specific anti-miRs leads to mesenchymal transition while ectopic overexpression maintains the epithelial phenotype. We also show that miR-30 family microRNAs increase in abundance during differentiation of pancreatic islet-derived mesenchymal cells into hormone-producing islet-like cell aggregates. Our studies in human adult diseased pancreas also demonstrate that miR-30 family microRNAs are expressed at lower abundance in fibrotic lesions during pancreatitis. Together, our data confirm that miR-30 family microRNAs form a part of the regulatory signaling events involved in cellular response of pancreatic epithelial cells during mesenchymal transition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Dedifferentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology*
  • Fetus / cytology
  • Fetus / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Models, Biological
  • Multigene Family / physiology
  • Pancreas / cytology*
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • Phenotype


  • MIRN30b microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs